Asda’s summer Christmas grotto is “irresponsible”, say parents
The school summer holidays have not yet finished, but a supermarket “Santa’s Grotto” in Dunstable was taken down after being blasted as “irresponsible” by parents.
The tinsel-clad arrangement at the front of Asda in Court Drive bore a sign inviting children to “guess who is on his way” – despite Father Christmas’ visit not being for another 116 days from Wednesday (August 29).
Shocked parents and customers went online and flocked to Facebook to flood the Gazette’s page with comments.
Facebook users Carey Adams said: “Kids love the build up to Christmas but after 124 days of “are we there yet?” I would imagine even they would be getting hacked off.”
Amy Lavin said: “That’s cruel, children have no concept of time. If I took my son tomorrow he would be so excited and I would not be able to explain that it’s four months away.”
Julie Tubby said: “Ridiculous – it’s a lovely time near Christmas to have Santa visits – it’ll spoil it if kids can see Santa from August.”
The supermarket giant defended the temporary move, and said it was part of a savings drive for parents worried about affording Christmas.
The iniative was reportedly scheduled to run until Friday (August 31), but when the Gazette went to Asda on Thursday morning (August 30), it had been removed.
The Advertising Standards Authority was inundated with complaints but said: “Although the ASA sympathised with the parents who contacted us, after careful consideration a decision was made not to investigate the complaints.”
A spokesman for Asda said: ‘Sadly, Christmas hasn’t come early in our stores this year –the grotto is just a bit of fun in a few of our stores this week as part of promotion for our Christmas Savings card.”
Grottos were opened in 17 of Asda’s 540 locations nationwide to promote the card.
For more information visit www.asdacards.co.uk/asda-christmas-savings-card.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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